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Ready, Set, Go!
When you plan a destination wedding, one thing is certain: The people you hire should be wizzes at working on location. We asked destination-wedding guru Verona Carter to share her most well-traveled tips to set you off in the right direction. Here's what she wants brides to know.
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What do on-site planners do?
Once a bride decides to have her wedding with us, she'll start working with an on-site planner. He or she will work hard to find local vendors, coordinate rooming lists, and assist the couple in selecting the perfect menu, color scheme, and flowers. Of course, a bride can also hire a planner closer to home to help her accomplish things like hiring a stationer and a photographer and managing her budget.
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How important is it for a bride to meet with her on-site planner before the wedding happens?
It's not absolutely necessary, but I do recommend it. Some brides choose to visit a few months before the wedding so they can taste the food and experience the culture and the resort from a guest's point of view. If that isn't possible, couples are sent a variety of look books with images of decor, cakes, and even meal presentation so they can make informed decisions without being present.
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On average, does it take more or less time to plan a destination wedding?
More, surprisingly. It can take shipped goods up to two weeks to arrive in the Caribbean. And finding and ordering specific types of flowers and food -- like kosher food, for example -- requires three to four months.
There are five: Saint Thomas, Jamaica, Hawaii, Mexico, and the Cayman Islands.
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What's your advice for brides who are considering a wedding away?
Do it -- it will be a truly unforgettable experience. The only thing better than getting married is getting married on vacation.
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"It's important to take the cost of flowers, alcohol, food, and beverages into consideration when you're working out your budget. The availability of these items varies depending on the location, so some things may need to be shipped from the mainland. It's a good idea to do your research, especially if you have your heart set on a specific flower for your bouquet or a particular type of wine for the reception."